Take it for a fact: most flea markets in Europe operate all year long, indoors as well as outdoors, snow or shine. But for those of us who are uncomfortable with cold weather but still can’t resist the urge to thrift & haggle, the real question is: “Where can I go on a two or three days trip to enjoy a bit of warmth, within a 2-4 hours flight radius from home, and still have some flea market fun?”.
If you are based in Europe, there are quite a few affordable and entertaining options out there, like Italy, Spain, Portugal or Southern France, which all have renowned flea markets and quite a pleasant climate in winter. And for the most adventurous of us, or who are willing to invest a bit more time and do not run on a tight budget, cities like Marrakesh, Cairo, or Tel Aviv are fantastic options for a radical change of scenery.
This article focuses on getaways close to Europe, but if your home is closer to the US, then why not head to California, Texas or into the heart of the deep South, for a quick break and some antiques shopping? These States offer great flea markets and fairs in the colder months, too.
Why travel in winter?
In winter, hotels and airfares tend to be cheaper compared to the rest of the year and sweaty summer crowds are a dim memory. There are even plenty of cultural events happening, like the opera and orchestra season which are in full swing. Last but not least, in winter, European cuisine changes dramatically from summer’s simplicity, featuring creamy, long-cooked sauces, preserved duck and goose, root vegetables, and roasted meat, all contributing to aromas that will leave you wishing you could stay in Europe forever.
So start packing your summer clothes, because this winter we are taking you where the sun shines and the temperature doesn’t go below 15°C/60°F! Here is our selection of “everlasting-spring” cities in Southern Europe and nearby, to go flea market shopping in winter!
How did we come up with this list?
The cities and locations featured in this ranking have been selected upon three criteria:
- Their relative proximity to most Western/Northern European cities (2 to 4 hours flight)
- Their average local temperature and hours of sunlight in winter (e.g.: even though both Granada and Madrid are relatively close to London and have great flea markets, winter temperatures are too low to have them qualified for this ranking)
- Last but not least, of course we chose cities with exciting flea markets and antique shops, that are worth your while.
Use the menu below to jump to our top recommendations for winter sun getaways for flea market shoppers!
And if you prefer to explore an interactive map, click on the map below to access Fleamapket! You’ll need a premium membership to access our recommendations for winter sun getaways, but you can also browse for free if you are just looking for the best flea markets in Europe:
If you think we missed something or some data is inaccurate (that can happen), please leave us a message in the comment section below.